This is the first in a series of articles on different analog cameras that I’m testing these days. It’s not a exhaustive technical analysis, but rather a list of technical characteristics of each camera and my personal opinion after using it with only one film each. Hope this helps to know a little more these cameras.
The first of these cameras is the Japanese Ricoh 500GX, a handy rangefinder camera with fixed lens Rikenon 40/2.8, made in Taiwan.
Its main features are:
- Type: Rangefinder with electronic Aperture control.
- Film: 35mm. ASA 50-800
- Lens: Rikenon 1:2.8 / 40mm
- Shutter: Speeds 1 / 8 – 1 / 500 sec.
- Aperture: 1/2.8 – 1:16
- Exposure: manual shutter speed selection, aperture controlled by CdS-meter or manually.
- Battery: 1.35 volt mercury battery PX675
Dimensions: 111 × 71 × 56 mm
Weight: 420 g
What liked me to this camera, to decide to bid on it (yes, ebay has fall down my finances over the last month) were the rangefinder, the brightness of its lens Rikenon 2.8 and the MX button you have next to the lens. This button is similar to the MX of the LC-A + and reloads the trigger without passing the film.
Once it arrived, I was surprised by his metal construction, robust and amazing touch. I would say it has the right weight. Enough to “feel” in your hands but not enough heavy to leave your neck broken after a day of shooting.
The first photos with this camera and a Schleker film, aren’t great but shows all its potential. I like the tones of the images and the possibility of multiple exposures comfortably, without rewinding and reloading the film in the camera:
A common “problem” with these cameras, so I’ve read online, is that the interior foam to help close “tightly” the cover to 35mm film is almost always wasted, if not non-existent. Right. The foam of mine is non-existent.
The consequences, you can imagine it, light leaks everywhere:
To finish, a very good camera with full manual control ability, tact, a fast lens, the possibility of multiple exposures and an affordable price on ebay, but we must watch to the different prices… I think, it’s starting to rise.